Nearly quarter of firms don't understand apprenticeship levy

Fri, November 24th, 2017

Make sure you're not one of them

Six months since the Apprenticeship Levy came into effect, research conducted by The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in conjunction with Middlesex University, has found that 23% of levy-paying firms have no understanding of the Apprenticeship Levy and don’t know how their company will respond to it.

From May this year, businesses with a pay-bill of over £3m were required to set aside a levy to cover training costs in a bid to boost take up of Apprenticeships and workplace skills across the UK. Although 36% of levy paying firms expect to recover all or more of their costs, more than half haven’t yet taken any direct action to use these funds or aren’t aware of how to access them.

At a national level, firms both above and below the levy threshold are uncertain about how to use Apprenticeships to find and train people with the skills they need.

Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the BCC, said: “Our survey shows that many firms are still unaware of the Apprenticeship Levy and how it will impact on their business. With many companies across the country facing critical skills shortages, more information and support is required to ensure businesses continue to invest in training.”

David Williams, Director of Corporate Engagement at Middlesex University, added: “It is clear that better information is needed to make sure the huge benefits of apprenticeship programmes are recognised by business, including how they can maximise the levy, the array of qualifications and levels that can be studied through apprenticeships, that the opportunity applies to existing staff as well as newcomers, and that innovative delivery methods mean that an employee could be out of the workplace for as little as 12 days a year.

“The opportunities that arise from the apprenticeships levy - together with robust workforce planning - could be transformative for businesses so it is essential that gaps in information and support around this initiative are addressed.”

How we can help

St Helens Chamber is an award winning provider of Apprenticeships and their Workforce Development team is on hand to guide both levy and non-levy paying businesses through the new Apprenticeship system.

If you pay the Apprenticeship Levy St Helens Chamber can help you put a strategy in place that allows you to get the most value from your levy payments. As part of their free support services they can deliver briefings to your management team on Apprenticeships, help you to set up your digital account, carry out a free training needs analysis of your workforce and put a fully-costed training plan in place.

For more information about offering Apprenticeships under the new system click here. To book an appointment with the Workforce Development team by calling 01744 742333 or emailing

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